Best DAC for Meridian Sooloos

Which DACs pair well with Meridian Sooloos equipment?

My system is a Simaudio 650D, P-8 & W-8 plus Revel Ultimata Studio 2 speakers. Cable is all Cardas Clear with a top of the line MIT digital coax cable. Digital source is a Meridian Sooloos MC200.

I find the sound of the MC200 into the 650D to lack a little body, like there is a mid-bass dip that robs the music of some fullness and impact.

Any suggestions?
I know of two people using their Sooloos with the PS Audio PWDII. Based on their credentials as critical listeners I would really consider this combo.
Thanks for that recommendation Gshepardbuster.
Not sure a new DAC will solve this. It might be jitter from the Sooloos.

If you already have a decent DAC, it is not very expensive to try a reclocker first. This will often solve the problem.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
FWIW the owners of the Sooloos/PWDII combos mentioned before are using the C15 control. I don't know if the C15 has a better clock than the MC200. If so it may be a clocking issue not a DAC issue.
Doesn't the "Lens" in the PWDII re-clock the digital stream?
Anyone tried re-clocking a Sooloos? Improvements?
I guess the clock is in the dac, so even if the DAC is not at fault the reclocking would be done by the PWD II. I wouldn't try and modify your Sooloos. I say buy the PWD II used and if does not do the trick then resell.
Have a serious look at the new Bryston BDA-2 external DAC.
Cool, thanks.
What about the Berkley Audio Dac 2? Expensive but worth it?
Anyone using a Berkeley Alpha DAC 2 with Sooloos?
Forgive me for making the obvious recommendation to your Meridian MC200.
The Meridian MS600 streaming audio endpoint.

Its DAC will perform very close to the absolute best DACs out there and it will have much lower jitter and better clock than the MC200 can do internally.

No reason to buy a DAC 2-3 times more expensive than the MS600 and get not much to show for.

If you really want the best of the best Sooloos Audio Endpoint you have the Meridian 818V2 streamer, it also contains a capable preamp and can run amps directly attached. Or if you want a CD drive in it as well the Meridian 808.5 CD/Streaming endpoint.
Thanks Crion,

I actually did invest in an MS600/MD600 combo from Meridian Sooloos. The MS600 does come with a very good dac - I just find that with the Meridian up sampling/ apodising filter engaged the sound ican be a little rolled off in the high frequencies and sound a little deadened on cd quality files. The sound on high res files is great! Turning off the up sampling leads to better sound via my external Simaudio 650 D dac, however bass is not as rich and full.
Some upsampling/filters on DAC/Computers skew the balance and sacrifice bass for details in the highs. The Meridian upsampling keeps the bass intact but may not pronounce the highs as much as other upsamplers.

If you defeat the Moon DAC upsampling as well is your bass restored somewhat?
Interesting. The upsamping in the Simaudio 650D is non-defeatable - I believe it's integrated into the Sabre chip set.

Defeating the Meridian upsampling/apodising filter on the Meridian MS600 leads to more high frequency presence, both through the Simaudio and the dac built into the Meridian MS600. It also reduces bass presence, particularly through the Meridian dac.

For some reason, with the Meridian upsampling filter engaged, there is a dip in the mid-bass when using the Simaudio dac. I wonder if this is due to some sort of interaction between the Meridian and Simaudio filtering process?

The Simaudio dac does present the sound differently than the Meridian dac regardless of setting, though. It tends to add a greater sense of depth to the recording, perhaps by de-emphasising the mid-range a tad and through greater decay. It also has more pin-point imaging and focus. The Meridian dac is more "direct", "solid" or "forward" sounding. Frequency wise, it can sound more realistic and fluid at the expense of imaging, a sense of 3D space and air.
With the Meridian filter in place, the music can sound a little "dead" sometimes as well. Not sure if this is related to the highs or it if dampens the natural decay of instraments. Funny, with the apodising filter I would expect a greater sense of decay as the filter is supposed to transfer pre-ringing into post-ringing.

I've also read that there can be phase issues with apodising filters. I wonder if phase issues can be frequency specific and that is why the Meridian filter sounds so natural in the bass and mid-range but is a little dead in the high frequencies?
Just as a follow up, I did upgrade to a Meridian MS600/MD600 combo. I now use the dac in the MS600 and use the XLR analogue output to my Simaudio P-8 pre amp. At first the MS600's analogue output remained a little on the dull/thick side but the I tried putting it on an HRS anti vibration platform and the sound really improved! Much better detail and soundstage depth. The simple act of putting a Coffee table book on top of it further improved the sound. Obviously the MS600 is very susceptible to vibrations and benefits from some tweaking in this regard.

The other observation from all this is that streamers significantly impact the sound, much like others say transports do. I tried a Simaudio MiND streamer and it sounded pretty much identical to the internal transport in my Simaudio 650 D. A much more "exciting" sound than the Meridian gear on first listen, with more high and low frequency emphasis. After a whole, though, I found the Meridian sounded more neutral and natural so I went with it. Plus Simaudio has a lot of catch up to play on the software side vs. Meridian, which has the benefit of years of investment from Sooloos.
Just a follow up - adding a set of 3 or 4 Stillpoint SS under the MS600 opened up the high frequency response and I'm now enjoying this unit as a dac. Putting a quality power cord on it (Cardas Clear) also increased the tonal colour and dynamics of the unit.
Reclock the Sooloos to reduce jitter first and then use any decent DAC, such as Metrum Octave, Metrum HEX, Wyred 4 Sound DAC2, Concero etc..

Steve N.
Empirical Audio